Weekend in Pictures

Monday, 30 September 2013

It was so nice to be back in Paris for a whole weekend and catching up with friends. 

+ Friday we had burgers at La Deppaneur, the burger place run by Paris food truck, Cantine California that they opened a couple of months ago. I've had their tacos, so was eager to try their burgers. They were very tasty, but I'll be honest and say, I'm not sure they were quite worth the €17 we paid for them, although eating out is generally pricier in Paris.
Have you had a great burger at a good place that I should know about?

+ Saturday I struggled, after consuming a little too much wine, so we sought out some fresh orange, carrot and ginger juice from Kooka Boora cafe to ease the pain (also a great place to go if you're a freelancer) followed by a lovely (and very reasonable, at €9) dish of boeuf bourguignon from Le Spank, I know, great name on Avenue Trudaine. And what's more, the owners were the happiest French people I think I've ever met, chipper, and talking and joking around with all of their customers. It was really a nice surprise as Parisian waiters often do live up to their stereotypes...

+ Sunday I ventured into the suburbs of northern Paris, to meet my very sweet friend Philippine. We wandered around a huge flee market and then headed to her parents flat for tea. I couldn't not get a little snap of her next to the very pretty window on the building's staircase. 

Hope you had wonderful weekends. 

Portugal in Pictures 3: Porto

Friday, 27 September 2013

We stayed the final weekend back in Porto that's fast becoming one of my favourite cities. There's just so much here, history, culture, the sea, beaches, wine and the food. Above is one of the city's oldest delicatessens. We went for brunch at Taberna do Bonjardim, and had the most delicious all you could eat Portuguese take on English breakfast, which included sausages, chick pea and cod salad, fish toasts and wine - yep wine for brunch, why not? 

We had dinner at the Book Restaurant, a very cool place that serves a book with each course, which is called a 'chapter', obviously. There's also a bar where you can just hang out and drink cocktails. 

Action shot. They were seriously tasty prawns, cooked in chilli and oranges, I think. I still can't get over just how good the seafood is in Portugal. 

I also finally got to step inside the third most beautiful bookshop in the world (according to the Lonely Planet), Livraria Lello & Irmao. I'd love to see who won first and second, for this place is simply incredible. It's just like a scene straight out of Harry Potter's Hogwarts, which comes as no surprise considering J K Rowling was inspired by its interior - she used to work in Porto as a foreign language teacher. There's a beautiful, ruby red, intricately carved, curved staircase that curls up to the first floor. Unfortunately you can't take photos of the interior.. but here are a few more.

On the Saturday we went to Piscina das Mares in Leca de Palmeira, an incredible brutalist style swimming pool nestled in the rocks right on the beach, designed by the Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza between 1961 and 1966 - think the Barbican centre crossed with some sun, sea and sand. 

Portugal in Pictures 2: Portinho de Arrabida

Thursday, 26 September 2013

We stayed a couple of nights at Casa d'Adoa - a ridiculously cute, traditional 20th century Portuguese guest house, in Portinho, just south of Lisbon with some friends. This place is one of the most idyllic spots I've ever stayed in. It's a tiny village - there are literally only a few villas and a couple of restaurants - nestled into a little cove, perched on a long stretch of sandy white beach. When I retire, this could quite possibly be the place. I could have stayed here for a week, mooching about on the beach and eating as many clams as possible. Happy as a clam.

The clams. I could have eaten that whole bowl, but unfortunately I had to share... 
On one of the days we took the ferry across to Comporta, on Troia, (which the Guardian recently compared with Ibiza on a good day), a little peninsula of land with 13 miles of white sandy beach, another winner. All we had to do was walk a little way away from the beach bars and it was like we had the beach all to ourselves, a little slice of sandy paradise. And I even went in the sea. I love the sea, but am not good with waves (I've even tried to learn to surf to overcome this one) or cold water, so rarely venture into the Portuguese sea as there are usually big waves and being the Atlantic an' all, the water's freezing. But here the water was just perfect, a little fresh, but swimmable. 

Back to food. One evening we tried Isaias, a family run restaurant in Sesimbra, about half an hour north of where we were staying and had the most delicious spread of three different freshly grilled fish; a turbot, sea bream and black swordfish, potatoes, salad, bread and red wine, followed by puddings. Not only was it one of the most delicious meals I've ever eaten, but it cost, wait for it... (bearing in mind all that food) just 10 euros each. Yep that's £7. Cheap as chips. I probably shouldn't be telling you this, as I'd like it to remain my little secret. 

The skilled Portuguese de-boning the turbot. 

Cereal x Protein: Forest

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Tomorrow London-based gallery, Protein is hosting the perfect exhibition to bring in the autumn. Forest, curated by food and travel tome, Cereal Magazine (one of my favourite magazines - you'll have seen more about it here and here), is a beautiful selection of collected photography of forests from around the world. From serene landscapes and treetops soaring into the sky, to darker brooding shots of trees shrouded in mist, Forest celebrates the earth's natural beauty and champions the lungs of our planet. The show ties in with the launch of Cereal's issue 4 and all prints will be available to buy. Proceeds go towards the International Tree Foundation. I'm just sad I can't be at the launch tonight, so thought I'd share a few images with you.

Suzi Marshall
Michelle Young
Finn Beales 
Caroline Hancox

Portugal in Pictures 1

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

I'm finally getting around to posting my Portugal photos. I know, I know, they're over two weeks late.
But I do have a good excuse this time. I've been in the UK for the last week - I went down to Canterbury in Kent (where I grew up) last weekend for my friend's wedding. I've known her since I was 11 and was very proud to be asked to be one of her bridesmaids, so it was an extra special weekend. I won't say too much about it in this post, as I'll be writing a dedicated wedding post, but just to say that it was a truly wonderful and beautiful day. 

So, back to Portugal. We ventured north of Porto on the Friday night for a friend's bbq, and the following day went to two of the most beautiful villages I've ever seen with another couple. The first, Caminha, had a beautiful square surrounded by cafes, where locals and tourists were just wiling away time, sipping on expressos and relaxing in the shade. And the second, Vila Nova de Cerveira, which was celebrating its biennial, hence the draped fabric and colourful hanging lanterns across the narrow streets. It was really beautiful, especially the contrast against the bright blue sky. After wandering around the tiny cobbled streets, we settled on a bench outside a little bar/cafe, Tasca do Cais for some home made lemonade and a huge plate of cheese. 

Back to Blog

Monday, 9 September 2013

This is a bit like a 'back to school' post, which is exactly how I'm feeling on this ridiculously dreary rainy Parisian Monday. I thought it also apt considering I've had a rather looonnng hiatus from blogging to concentrate on my day job at Art Wednesday, and to generally take stock of everything I'm doing and trying to do. Art Wednesday has just gone e-commerce and so I've been busy setting up features, studio visits and interviews with sellers and London Fashion Week is fast-approaching.

I've also just come back from Portugal, which was a working holiday if you will, meaning working in the morning, then enjoying the Portuguese sun and sea in the afternoon. So I'm suffering not only from feeling like I've gone back to school after the summer, but those niggling Monday and post-holiday blues, which always seem to snap at your heels if the weather is particularly bad. Onwards and upwards, this week I'll be popping up photos of my time in Portugal - cue further wallowing. But seriously, hope you all had great summers, and are fully back in the swing of things.

I thought this photo that I took in Porto of the coolest bike parking I've ever seen, was fitting for today's post.

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